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On 7 May 2005, a Fairchild Aircraft Inc. SA227-DC Metro 23 aircraft, registered VH-TFU, with two pilots and 13 passengers, was being operated by Transair on an instrument flight rules regular public transport service from Bamaga to Cairns, with an intermediate stop at Lockhart River, Queensland. At 1143:39 Eastern Standard Time, the aircraft impacted terrain in the Iron Range National Park on the north-western slope of South Pap, a heavily timbered ridge, approximately 11 km north-west of the Lockhart River aerodrome. At the time of the accident, the crew was conducting an area navigation global navigation satellite system (RNAV (GNSS)) non-precision approach to runway 12. The aircraft was destroyed by the impact forces and an intense, fuel-fed, post-impact fire. There were no survivors.

The accident was almost certainly the result of controlled flight into terrain, that is, an airworthy aircraft under the control of the flight crew was flown unintentionally into terrain, probably with no prior awareness by the crew of the aircraft's proximity to terrain. The investigation report identifies a range of contributing and other safety factors relating to the crew of the aircraft, Transair's processes, regulatory oversight of Transair by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and RNAV (GNSS) approach design and chart presentation. It also details safety action taken by various agencies to address the identified safety issues, and includes safety recommendations relating to those safety issues that had not been addressed by relevant agencies at the time of publication of this report.



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Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 6.29MB]
Download Interim Factual Report
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Preliminary Report released 03/06/05

Download Preliminary Report 200501977 (406kb)

Interim Factual Report released 31/08/06

Download Interim Technical Analysis Report 200501977 (5000Kb)

Download Interim Factual Report
[ Download PDF: 1.72MB]
General details
Date: 07 May 2005 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1144 EST  
Location:11 km NW Lockhart River, Aero. Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: CFIT 
Release date: 04 April 2007 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Fairchild Industries Inc 
Aircraft model: SA227-DC 
Aircraft registration: VH-TFU 
Serial number: DC 818B 
Type of operation: Air Transport Low Capacity 
Sector: Turboprop 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Bamaga, QLD
Departure time:1111 hours EST
Destination:Lockhart River, QLD
Crew details
RoleClass of licenceHours on typeHours total
Co-Pilot/1st OfficerCommercial150.0655.0
Fatal: 213015
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Last update 16 September 2016